Week 5 NFL Picks

I am a proponent in sports of the ultimate turnaround story. Heck, in the NHL, the St. Louis Blues went from the second worst team in January to a Stanley Cup Championship in June. Nothing is truly impossible…especially after only four weeks.

Then again, I might take that back after watching the Dolphins this season. They’re beyond horrendous even among historical standards.

Yet Miami isn’t the only team I can confidently say won’t be making the playoffs this season. Let’s be honest – any team that’s currently winless isn’t going to the playoffs.

Here’s a list of those teams who are 100% playing for the future over the next 13 weeks of the regular season:

Screen Shot 2019-10-02 at 8.52.35 PM

  • Arizona Cardinals (0-3-1)
    Kliff Kingsbury’s playcalling has left plenty to be desired. So has Arizona’s defense thus far through four weeks.
  • Cincinnati Bengals (0-4)
    This was always a rebuilding year for the Bengals under new coach Zac Taylor. So why don’t they have a QB of the future in house instead of Andy Dalton? Complete negligence by the front office.
  • Denver Broncos (0-4)
    The best team on this lousy list…they could easily be 2-2 after losing two home games on field goals on the final play. But Joe Flacco’s best days are behind him and while I wouldn’t be shocked to see Denver play .500 ball the rest of the way, they most certainly won’t be playoff bound.
  • Miami Dolphins (0-4)
    Need I say more?
  • New York Jets (0-3)
    They’re winless with a new coach, a franchise QB with mono, and quite simply an average roster. Next year the Jets could be a sleeper to make the playoffs.
  • Washington Redskins (0-4)
    The next franchise QB is in house (Dwayne Haskins) but he’s clearly not ready for prime time just yet. Coach Jay Gruden is 99% gone at the end of the season if not beforehand so this franchise is in the midst of a complete rebuilding project.

The next tier of teams that I’m 75% sure will miss the playoffs, yet I can’t officially rule them out are:

  • Atlanta Falcons (1-3)
  • New York Giants (2-2)
  • Oakland Raiders (2-2)
  • Pittsburgh Steelers (1-3)

That leaves us with 22 of 32 teams with still a legitimate shot at the playoffs as I see it. Not too shabby in terms of parity for the NFL!

After an upset-filled Week 4, my record has now reached new lows. I can’t remember the last time I was more than 2 games under .500 in a week before this one. Sad state of affairs on the Cohen’s Corner picks right now!

Week 5 Picks

Last Week: 6-9 Straight Up (SU),  7-8 Against the Spread (ATS)
Overall: 36-26-1 SU, 31-32 ATS
(Picks against the spread in parentheses; HOME TEAMS IN CAPS)

Los Angeles Rams 26, SEATTLE SEAHAWKS 20 (ATS: Rams +1.5)
The underdog is 4-0 straight up on Thursday night thus far this season. Now I know this trend won’t last forever…but I’ll take the better team getting points in what should be another entertaining game on TNF.

New England Patriots 34, WASHINGTON REDSKINS 20 (ATS: Redskins +15.5)
Something tells me this game will be closer than most people think. If rookie Dwayne Haskins starts for the Redskins, I reserve the right to revise that last sentence!

Tampa Bay Buccaneers 27, NEW ORLEANS SAINTS 23 (ATS: Bucs +3.5)
Probably not a smart pick…but the Bucs are 2-0 on the road under Bruce Arians. Let the trend continue this week before a game in London next Sunday. I’m still not a big believer in New Orleans sans Drew Brees despite their 3-1 record.

Minnesota Vikings 26, NEW YORK GIANTS 16 (ATS: Vikings -4.5)
If Kirk Cousins is ever going to show anything again in a Minnesota uniform, this is probably the week…though since I’m facing Dalvin Cook in my big fantasy league, he’s due for 200 and 3 TDs, right? I also expect the Vikings’ D to slow Daniel Jones and prevent the Giants from winning their 3rd in a row.

Chicago Bears 17, OAKLAND RAIDERS 10 (in London) (ATS: Bears -4.5)
Offense will be at a premium in Great Britain this weekend. Chase Daniel won’t lose nor win the game for the Bears…but Chicago’s D is the key. First one to 17 wins…and I’m hard-pressed to see how Oakland gets to that total.

CAROLINA PANTHERS 21, Jacksonville Jaguars 13 (ATS: Panthers -3.5)
Minshew-mania or Kyle Allen-mania? How weird is it that both teams have won 2 in a row without their starting QBs? Give me the home team in an ugly game that showcases more defense than offense.

PHILADELPHIA EAGLES 31, New York Jets 19 (ATS: Jets +13.5)
I’m making this pick tentatively as I’m not sure about the status of Sam Darnold for the Jets…but I’m also not sold on Philly’s swiss cheese defense. Eagles win in a higher scoring game than Vegas predicts.

CINCINNATI BENGALS 23, Arizona Cardinals 20 (ATS: Cardinals +4.5)
I would love to pick AZ to win here in this Week 5 Suck Bowl…however, I don’t trust the Cardinals whatsoever based on what I’ve seen since Week 1. In a more entertaining game than most observers expect, Cincinnati squeaks out a close one.

TENNESSEE TITANS 20, Buffalo Bills 13 (ATS: Titans -2.5)
Will Josh Allen play or won’t he? Do I trust Tennessee ever? Let’s put it this way, don’t take this pick of the Titans to Vegas either way. I’m not confident whatsoever.

HOUSTON TEXANS 30, Atlanta Falcons 24 (ATS: Texans -4.5)
The Falcons are a joke…they rarely win away from home these days and Dan Quinn is a lame duck coach as I see it. In an entertaining game, Houston wins. Start all of your fantasy players in this one.

Baltimore Ravens 27, PITTSBURGH STEELERS 20 (ATS: Ravens -4.5)
The Steelers looked incredible on Monday…but then again they were playing the stinkin’ Bengals. Baltimore is the desperate team coming off of two straight losses so I’ll roll with Lamar Jackson and company on the road.

LOS ANGELES CHARGERS 26, Denver Broncos 21 (ATS: Broncos +6.5)
This game will be closer than expected in Melvin Gordon’s 2019 debut…especially when 3/4 of LA’s home field will be filled by Bronco fans. Still Vic Fangio’s team drops to a hideous 0-5 when this one is said and done.

DALLAS COWBOYS 27, Green Bay Packers 19 (ATS: Cowboys -3.5)
I’d love to be able to pick my Packers here as Aaron Rodgers has been a Dallas-killer in recent years. But likely without their biggest offensive receiving threat, Davante Adams, I just can’t pull the trigger on the Pack.

KANSAS CITY CHIEFS 38, Indianapolis Colts 20 (ATS: Chiefs -10.5)
The Colts rarely get blown out. But they have serious injury issues and KC is simply that good. I’m laying the 10.5 and taking the home team comfortably.

SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS 24, Cleveland Browns 16 (ATS: 49ers -3.5)
Are the 49ers really good enough to start 4-0? Yes, because they have arguably the most underrated defense in the NFL. In what should be a fun MNF game, Jimmy G and company prove they’re for real in 2019 to a primetime audience.


Week 5 Betting Locks

(Last Week’s Result, Season Record in Parentheses)
Favorite (LOSS, 2-2): Chiefs -10.5 vs. Colts
Underdog (LOSS, 1-3): Rams +2 at Seahawks
Bet the Over (WIN, 1-2-1): Eagles / Jets Over 43.5
Bet the Under (LOSS, 1-3): Bears / Raiders Under 40.5

Week 5 Fantasy Football Guidance
‘Boom’ Players
(15+ PPR fantasy points from a non top-10 player)
Last Week: 2-1
Overall: 4-8
QB: Andy Dalton (Bengals)
RB: Le’Veon Bell (Jets)
WR: Josh Gordon (Patriots)

‘Bust’ Players
(12 or less PPR fantasy points from a top-15 player)
Last Week: 2-1
Overall: 6-6

QB: Philip Rivers (Chargers)
RB: Marlon Mack (Colts)
WR: JuJu Smith-Schuster (Steelers)
To read previous entries of my blog, click here. Also make sure to follow me on Twitter @cohencurse1580.

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